Toledoan's story highlighted on 'Dopesick'

Frankie, left, and Nate, both from Toledo, are seen in a still from 'Dopesick Nation,' a new Viceland series.
Frankie, left, and Nate, both from Toledo, are seen in a still from 'Dopesick Nation,' a new Viceland series.

Strung out on heroin and offered a lifeline to sobriety in a free treatment center, but one that won't be available for a few days, Nate, 28, is blunt about his immediate plans.

“Honestly, I’m just gonna try to stay alive until then,” he says.

Nate is one of two stories in Dopesick Nation, a new Viceland series that premieres 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Nate is from Toledo as is Frankie, who, along with the show’s other host, Allie, is a recovering addict now working to save addicts.

“Nate is from the same city as me, Toledo, Ohio,” Frankie narrates at the beginning of the episode. And then he explains that Nate, who has a 9-year-old son, used to work in the recovery industry and has been addicted to heroin, fentanyl, and crack for 14 years. Now he’s living in an old halfway house that’s now abandoned because the owner died, Frankie says.

“Sounds like he’s been going hard, smoking crack, shooting dope, so Nate probably doesn’t have too much longer."

The episode, which features Allie working desperately to help another addict, is a sober reminder of the physical toll, but a pointed reminder that addicts are people, with stories, histories, friends, and family, who are victims of an insidious disease, not poor life choices.

As Nate says when he stumbles during “dope sickness,” which, the show explains, occurs when a person with an addition is withdrawing from heroin:

“I hate this. I don’t want to keep doing this. ... You don’t want to get high so bad, but your car is on autodrive to the dope man. The only thing you think about it ... and then you lose everything: family and friends.

“This can’t define who I am,” he says. “This isn’t me. I have more potential than that.” And then he lights up.

Frankie will be at the Clinton House Restaurant, 106 W. Perry St., Port Clinton, for a premiere party beginning at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Contact Kirk Baird at or 419-724-6734.